On Losing a Baby
Last week we found out that our unborn baby had died; he-or-she was our fifth child but our first miscarriage. (To those who have prayed and cared for Lisa and our family, please know we are very grateful.) One of our prayers has been that God would teach us through this difficult providence. With less poetry than I feel it’s due, here are some things about that.
There really is a peace that “surpasses all understanding” (Phil. 4:7) This peace doesn’t replace or nullify tears but carries you through them. This peace doesn’t calm the waves but sends an anchor deep so the storm can’t pull you out to sea. This peace is…well, unexplainable, which is how God would have it. Those who’ve received it nod their heads in thanksgiving. Those who haven’t can only wonder, I suppose.
How wonderful is God’s covenant of grace To know that the promises of God’s grace are for me and my children (Acts 2:39), to know that this child will not come to us but that “I shall go to him” (2 Sam. 12:23), to rest in God’s power to save even those who have no capability to express faith (Confession of Faith, 10:3), to have these things is an inestimable gift. We are grateful that God’s clear teaching means being allowed to expect a reunion with a child we’ll never meet this side of the veil.
God’s love, mediated or direct, is our joy Our Heavenly Father has many tools of love and he loves to throw open the tool chest in our dark days. He has loved us directly, walking closely and tenderly through His Spirit. But like a general contractor, he has also sent scores of subcontractors to carry out his designs of love. Every phone call, every meal, every prayer of friends, every sincere note of love…we’ve gladly received them as the beautifully mediated love of our Father. To not see Jesus’ hand this week would have required a blindness from which we’ve already been delivered.
God’s grace enables us to our high calling of treating him like God all the time When waiting for the final news and in the weakness of doubt, I wondered how we would respond. To his glory, during this trial, God’s grace enables us to confess with Job, “Shall we indeed accept good from God and not accept adversity?” (Job 2:10) When taking away someone that never really belonged to us, God’s grace sufficiently humbles our hearts before his majesty, wisdom and goodness. God’s grace alone can and does enable us to “rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation and be constant in prayer” (Rom. 12:12). Perhaps it’s a different kind of speaking in tongues, being strengthened to believe and say things I never thought I could.
Finally, with no need for comment, my wife is never more precious or beautiful to me than when she is resting in the goodness of her heavenly Father.